Thursday, June 30, 2011

Protests in Greece

My Youngest Brother wrote to me:
Washington Post covered the riots in Athens, including burning of vendor vehicles, just across the street from where [my wife] stayed two weeks ago.  The protestors told her they didn’t want to lose their entitlements, like retirement at age 55, even though there was no money to pay for them, and they couldn’t even create the debt to pay for them.  It’s a shame that they burned the trucks, since those are peoples’ livelihoods, and an actually productive part of the economy.
Not getting debt under control can lead to bad outcomes.  Worse, it can lead to the election of demagogues who promise to spin gold out of straw.

On the other hand, cuts in the Federal Budget, while fundamental, are not sufficient in the short run.  That means tax increases.  There are two problems with tax increases.  The first is that tax increases are often an excuse to not cut the federal budget, and thus are self-defeating, in that the problem doesn't go away.  The second is that we are not going to be able to tax our way out of our problem.  Someone asserted to me that 20% of the GDP in taxes is the knee of the curve and above 20% the economy starts to bog down.  We are above 20%.  I don't know why 20% would be magical, although it has been the traditional ratio from the beginning of the nation, but it is the historic number, or so this person says.

I worry about what happens in this nation when some of our programs, such as social security, run out of money in ten or twenty years.  Will we be burning vendors' trucks?

As for the President's News Conference yesterday, the idea that Defense needs to be included in the round of cuts is both true and also not news.  The call for defense cuts began earlier ($400 Billion over ten years by the President since the submission of the 2012 budget) and will continue and will impact our national security strategy.  Such cuts will not be the end of the Republic as we know it.

Regards  —  Cliff

6 comments:

nealcroz said...

Our situation reminds me of a young airman who was being charged under the Uniform Code of Military Justice for check fraud. Her defense was that she didn't understand why she was being charged with a crime because the bank GAVE her the checks and she STILL had blank one's left.

We need to take away the blank checks.

Importantly, we also need to rid ourselves of politically motivated and sustained agencies such as DOE, Education, EPA, and a whole raft of other less publicly known agencies that spend our money like sailors on shore leave.

IMPORTANTLY, Americans...those WE THE PEOPLE everyone likes to talk about.....need to learn how and return to doing things for themselves rather than letting George do it.

We need to become self sufficient and we are unable to do so when we have stupid programs that pay people for NOT working, pay farmers for NOT growing crops, and artificially supporting prices on commodities in order to ensure a fixed minimum profit....thus enabling large agribusinesses a steady reliable income. The agriculture free market works.......if we let it. Remember the USDA price supports and other don't grow it programs were all New Deal ideas...that have hung on just because they were there.

Oh....and we'd solve much of our medical problems if we'd just put folks back to work and make them EARN what they consume. I've seen very few obese wheat or corn farmers.....My extended family were farmers and fruit ranchers.....and getting up at 5 AM to work until 6 or 7 PM didn't leave a lot of time for laying around drinking beer and watching Oprah.

Rather than pay people to do nothing, connect that pay to productive labor. The public dole MUST be connected to public benefit. If you can't find a job, and you want public money lo live on...then we'll give you a public job in return....there are PLENTY of public good projects that go wanting....it may not be glamorous or represent a fast track to the board room....but you get money...and the public gets improvement.

How hard can that be? Oh...people will not go along with it? Well....if that is the only way that they can get money...they will.

We HAVE to do away with the Nanny State and anything that even remotely resembles it. It saves us money...AND.....it takes away stuff that the politicians can use to garner votes.

Jack Mitchell said...

Anyone have a swig of water, so I can rinse the taste of barf out of my mouth?

Tap water is fine. I know it is at or better than EPA standards.

I wretch when we're lectured about austerity by someone that has suckled from Uncle Sam's teat for the vast majority of his life.

nealcroz said...

That goes for Cliff too Jack...or are you merely discriminating?

Oh...and what have you done for your country Jack...for most of your life? Aside from demeaning those of us who spent a career in service?

C R Krieger said...

Boyz

I am in South Jersey, on the road Southbound and behind schedule.  Please play nice.  You both served your nation well.  You both love the nation.  You both wish it well.

Don't make me come back up there, or worse, send my daughter after you.  She is up there guarding the house, along with Fred the ferocious dog.

Regards  —  Cliff

Jack Mitchell said...

Cliff,
As you travel under the umbrella of our tax dollars, steer well and live. ;v)

Renee said...

My maternal grandparents passed away prior to my birth, but I thank the Lord for leaving Greece to America.

Demography is destiny, low birth rate factors in. Considering the out migration here in Massachusetts and in other states like New York, our own measures will come. The only problem states have, is that citizens can easily move unlike in these countries. Those with the skills, health, and financial means will go, leaving the rest behind.